Shiva temples of Tamilnadu

Thevaara Paadal Petra Sivasthalangal
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Location of the templeTirukkadavur
Lord Shiva known asAmirthagateswarar
Female deity known asAbhirami
How to reach This sivasthalam temple is located on the Mayiladuturai - Tarangambadi route.Tirukkadavur Mayanam, another paadal petra sthalam is located at a distance of 2 Kms from here. Tirukkadavur can be reached from Sirkazhi and Mayiladuthurai.

Tirukkadavur is one of the Attan Veerattana Sthalams of Lord Shiva. Shiva vanquished Yaman, the Lord of Death, at this sthalam to save the life of Markandeya.

Sage Mrikandu and his wife prayed to Shiva for a child. Shiva gave them a choice - they could have a foolish son with a long life, or a short lived, but intelligent child. They chose the latter, and soon had a smart child, who came to be known as Markandeya. When, just before his 16th birthday, he learnt that he would die soon, he left home, and stayed in the temple, praying to Shiva, who was the one who had brought him to life. At the appointed hour, Yama or Kaala arrived to take his soul, and threw his noose of death over the child. Markandeya at once embraced the Shiva lingam, and the noose fell over the lingam. Shiva was furious and came out of the lingam, kicking Yama to death, thus stopping all death and saved Markandeya. However, with the death of Yama, there were no more deaths on earth, and Bhoomi Devi could bear the burden no more. Finally, Shiva yielded to their prayers, resurrecting Yama, and giving Markandeya eternal youth.

Thirukkadaiyur is the holy place where this legend is believed to have taken place, and here, the main deity is called Amritaghateswarar - the lord with the pot of nectar, who can confer immortality. The legend is depicted in the form of the bronze statue of Kaala Samhara Moorthy - Markandeya embracing the lingam out of which Shiva appears and kicks Yama. The lower portion of the statue showing the actual Samharam or killing of Yama is kept closed and opened only during the Aarti. Right opposite the sanctum of Kaala Samhara Moorthy is the sanctum of Yama, who is believed to be thanking the lord for allowing him to live.The goddess here is Abirami, who is believed to have answered the prayers of a great devotee of hers, Abirami Bhattar, by bringing the full moon to the sky on a new moon night. It is believed that at this temple, all the Navagrahas and even Yama owe their allegiance to Shiva, and hence prayers to Shiva can solve all problems, and in particular, increase the life span of people. The temple is at all times filled with multitudes of people who arrive to perform special pujas and homams on their birthdays, especially their 60th and 80th birthdays. Homams are conducted all day long, all around the pragaram and inside the sanctum yet there are waiting lists. This is among the most popular temples in the area.

Tirukkadavur map2Map showing the location of Tirukkadavur from Sirkazhi bus stand
Map courtesy by: Google Maps
Tirukkadavur temple photos